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Well-known predictor of the future Gartner is advising enterprises to start installing and testing Windows 7 this year and try to finish replacement of Windows XP by the end of 2012.

Microsoft will continue to support WinXP until April 2014, however, by the end of 2012 many newer applications written by independent vendors will not support XP, they said.

Michael Silver, a Gartner vice president, said: “In various Gartner polls and surveys, 80 percent of respondents report skipping Windows Vista. With Windows XP getting older and Windows 8 nowhere in sight, organizations need to be planning their migrations to Windows 7. Windows 7 has been getting positive reviews, and many clients report that they have plans to start their production deployments, but there are some that are still undecided about when to start and how quickly to do the migration.”

“Organizations wanting to do as much of the migration as possible though PC refresh or attrition, should begin by deciding on a start date,” according to Steve Kleynhans, Gartner research VP.

News release here: “Gartner Says Most Organizations Should Be Planning and Testing Windows 7 in 2010 and Try Eliminating Windows XP by End of 2012”

Tom Kelchner